8 May 2020

Friday fold: Wills Mountain Anticline

Posted by Callan Bentley

Eric Fulmer (who pitched in with last week’s Friday fold) returns this week with another treasure. He writes,

I was in Hopeville, WV a couple of years ago. The entire area between Cabins and Hopeville is a real joy (geologically and recreationally) as some of the most resistant rocks of the Mid-Atlantic Appalachians are folded and exposed in quick succession and with great relief. I am particularly fond of seeing the western-most exposure of Tuscarora Sandstone in the Wills Mountain Anticline along the North Fork Gap.

The Wills Mountain Anticline is a much larger structure than the Hopeville Anticline and the most obvious member of the antiform is the resistant Tuscarora Sandstone. North Fork Mountain (south of North Fork Gap) is essentially the eastern limb of the anticline and resistant Tuscarora forms white cliffs along the crest of the mountain for miles. The western limb of the anticline includes nearly vertical beds of the same unit plunging directly into the earth; Seneca Rocks are equivalent rocks further to the south.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The best view that I have seen of the Wills Mountain Anticline is from the first ridge of North Fork Mountain Trail (northern trailhead). The path winds up the mountain and then takes you to a fabulous viewpoint across the North Fork Gap towards New Creek Mountain, where the Tuscarora Sandstone can be followed from east to west across the entire anticline. The drop into the gap is also quite dramatic for the East Coast.

Highly recommended for a long day trip or overnighter.

Once again, thanks to Eric for contributing a fold. Other readers are welcome to do the same. Just drop me an email.